Who is responsible to bring a business premises up to code?

I am renting a store front to start a business. The store front needed to be renovated for the type of business we are starting. Upon one of the inspections we were told there needed to be a 2 hour fire barrier on the existing ceiling. Since we do not own the building who is responsible for having this work done? This is a code issue with the building. Why should the lessee be responsible for the lessors building to be up to code? No where in the lease does it say we the lessee are responsible for improvements or repairs.

Asked on November 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the building is violating general building codes, the  landlord should take care of it. However, if you need to comply with codes or requirements specific to your business, then that is your expense and issue, unless the landlord agreed in the lease to pay for this: the landlord is not responsible for the requirements of your business.

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